After a day of exploring we wanted to unwind and find a place that we could catch the baseball game along with a few drinks. We walked around Crystal City and decided to stop in at Bailey's.
The place is quite nice with two sections, the smoking and non-smoking. The bar is large with plenty of screen tv's where you can catch your favorite team playing. The restaurant was crowded but not unbearably so.
The menu is extensive with the usual bar type dishes you can find in most places of this type.
We settled at a table near the bar to watch his team (Mets) play while having a few drinks. I decided to try something a bit different than my usual and went with a Belgium Framboise Beer. it was quite nice. He had a Heinekin.
We perused the menu and decided to share a dish since we weren't very hungry. We choose the fish platter which was a nice size filet with chips.
This is a bar right across the street from the Clarendon metro station. When it's good weather out, the rooftop bar is the place to be. It attracts the local yuppies and is a pretty lively place on weekend nights. 5:00PM-2:00AM on weekends (to midnight other days).
Dress Code: Everyone here will be wearing at least business casual (No hats or tank tops is what is says on their website)
On the way back from our second VT-meeting, this time in Washington, DC, Kathy was so tired after all those drinks and good laugh with Urszula that she desperately needed some sleep. She chose the best possible and the most safe place in the middle of the night - a bench put just by the Big Brother that is huge building of Pentagon.
CHRIS LOOKS FOR TRANSPORTATION
When we arrived to Pentagon station Chris vanished. He was looking for a taxi which could take us to the hotel. He came back and told that we still had a metrobus to the hotel. It was Saterday, or rather already Sunday and the metrobases go till late hours on weekends. We had to wait maybe 15 min. for our bus and there were a few people more.
I THINK OVER THE PENTAGON
I was looking at the stars and airplanes flying to and from nearby National Airport and being a few yards from the Pentagon Wall I had to think over the tragedy of 11 September... and what I was doing that day... etc. I asked Chris whether there is any place comemmorating this day. He didn't know but I saw at that moment writings on the wall of the Pentagon about that day. I couldn't take a picture of that place because it was too dark and too far for my camera flash. It's a pity I didn't have a tripod with me. Haha, have you ever seen anyone coming to a VT-meeting with quite large tripod?
Dress Code: For that bench: casual dress - long sleeves and a jacket in October. An umbrella is not necessary, it's a covered area. Identity is recommended (in case of a visit of the Big Brothers -they film you all the time).
23rd Street is the heart of Crystal City's nightlife and restaurant scene. This short, two-block strip has a variety of local restaurants such as the Crystal City Sports Pub, the Tortoise and Hare, Kabob Palace, and the Crystal City Diner. It also has a few good chain restaurants such as Legal Seafoods.
"Hop in, crawl out." That's the motto at friendly neighborhood Tortoise & Hare pub on 23rd St in Crystal City, Arlington. This great little corner bar has a nice dining area and a big bar, most within view of their numerous flat screen TVs. They have various specials and events, such as Tuesday night Mexican food, Tecate beers, and Trivia, as well as half price burgers on Wednesdays, and live bands on Fridays.
I stopped in for dinner on a recent Tuesday and stayed for half of trivia. I started with a draft Yuengling lager and enjoyed their house burger, called the T&H burger. This came served with fries or a side salad, which is an unusual, but welcome option, and the burger was cooked to order and served with a fantastic chipotle ketchup. My meal was about $22, since the cool bartender comped me a drink or too.
The trivia was interesting, and it drew a good, young crowd. There were about 10 teams of 4 to 6 people participating, which was most of the bar and dining area crowd. Seems like a fun little neighborhood spot, but it also attracts its share of business travellers from the nearby hotels such as the Radisson, Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, and others. The metro is about 6 blocks away, most of the walk sheltered from the weather by the Crystal City underground. Also nearby are the Kabob Palace and the Crystal City Sports Pub, two of my favorite places in the DC area.
free standup comedy show from 8pm to 10pm and then the regular audience folks get to come up on stage and tell a joke in the "Everybody's A Comedian" joke contest--best joke wins $25 cash...also Weds are 1/2 price burger night at this place.
Dress Code: casual
This is a hotel bar... definately a negative. I have always hated hotel bars, probably always will, until I'm about 60 and around the same age as the other customers. But this bar has one big draw that other greasy hotel bars lack: a stunning view over the Potomac River to Georgetown and beyond.
We stopped in one Friday afternoon around 6pm and grabbed a few seats at the bar. Lhenne1 and I each had a bottle of beer ($5.50 each). The bar area is against the glass and set low so the bar seats face the windows. The bartender walks between you and the windows, but does not block the view. Heck, he barely even stops to see if you need a drink; you won't even know he's there!
We sat for about 45 minutes and just stared over the bar at the city across the river, trying to pick out key landmarks. From here you can easily see Georgetown University and the National Cathedral behind it in the distance. I was also able to pick out Catholic University, the Georgetown Reservoir, the poltergeist stair in Georgetown, the Naval Observatory, and a few other locations. Unfortunately the bar does not offer any views to the National Mall or the White House.
The bartender here was pretty bored and our service slow. I planned to have a second beer, but he ignored my empty bottle for about 5 minutes, so we decided to pay and leave. Come for the views, not the service.
This 17th floor bar is attached to a restaurant with similar views.
Wandering down Wilson Blvd one night, we took a detour to Fairfax Drive and happened upon a cool bar called Carpool. From the outside it looks kind of like an old mechanic shop with gas pumps and two big overhead doors open to a nice outdoor patio. Inside it still looks like an old auto repair garage, just with pool tables and a bar in place of cars.
We stopped here about 6:30 one night and, after having our ID's checked, we crowded into the busy bar. We ordered a couple of Yuenglings at the happy hour price of $3.50 then just hung out for awhile. After happy hour ended, a few seats opened up, so we ordered another round of drinks plus their steak and chicken nachos ($9). The nachos were surprisingly delicious, particularly their marinated and grilled steak chunks.
I really like this bar and think it could be a fun place to visit every once in a while.
Bailey's Pub and Grille is a huge bar and restaurant located in Arlington at Ballston Common shopping center. We went there at about 1:30 on a Sunday morning and they were still very busy. Drinks were kind of expensive at $4.25 for a Budweiser draft and $6.00 for a Hoegarden draft. Not a bad spot if you happen to be in the area and are bored.
I hear this is a great spot for NFL games on Sundays.
LOOKING FOR NIGHTLIFE
On our third day in Arlington we arrived at our new hotel, Hyatt-Regency Crystal City late. We were hungry and I didn't want to drive a car for two reasons: it's tiring and I wanted to taste some beer or wine. Hotel restaurant offered awesome views over Washington, DC but was completely empty and very expensive. While I was checking my US map on the laptop Kathy was calling to the reception where to eat. Both of us didn't receive exact location but direction: drive or walk northwards.
WAY TO OUR NIGHT RESTAURANT
We left the hotel late, before 9.00 pm and walked along side street (main US-1 was too noisy), completely empty and not the best lighted at some places. When I saw guarded security staff smoking in front of some buildings along the way I wondered if it's safe area. We walked maybe 15 min. when we saw Chili's on the right, the first restaurant we found. Luckily we didn't know that there were numerous local restaurants just around the corner (including Jaleo we enjoyed a lot 2 days before) thus we would not have experienced great food in Chili's.
WHAT A MEETING!
When we entered the Chili's, as usual in the USA, we have to wait to be seated. Thin, Asian waitress welcomed us with charming smile and asked us wether we prefer to be seated by the window. The restaurant was elmost empty, only a few guys were sitting at the bar. Kathy, as usual, started to talk very fast with the waitress, and suddenly she told us that she had a surprice for us. What surprice, I asked. The waitress came away and Kathy replied: wait a moment. In a minute we saw a young guy who came to us and said: "Dobry wieczor" which means good evening in Polish language. It was really great surprice. We met a Pole and could speak in Polish! The waitress found a table for us. While Kathy who didn't understand Polish sat alone at the table, we were talking with the Polish guy.
Dress Code: POLISH NIGHT TALKS
Excuse, I have weak memorey for names, I've forgotten the name of this guy. In a few minutes of very interesting talk surely about life and travels in the USA we became friends. The guy was living in Arlington for over a year, studying and working. Our Asian waitress was his girlfriend. He traveled part of the Western USA a year before and we shared our impressions, quite similar. He was fascinating and liked the USA a lot although he would like to find better job (who wouldn't?). We talked fast and a lot. The Polish guy was as much fascinating about the talk as we were and he didn't notice when his large portion of ice-cream (it looked yummy :-) melted. In a few minutes Kathy came to us and at that moment we both, Urszula and I, realized that it's not pleasant to leave Kathy alone at the table. Well, she kindly told that it's OK. We wanted to invite the guy to our table but he had to leave. Well, it was great conversation. I would like to meet that guy again.
After the talk with that Polish guy I realized (again) how large the language barrier is. During ten minutes of fast talk in my native language I easily could tell that guy (and vice versa) more than during, say, a few hours of tiring and difficult talks with an American native. And I often say not exactly what I want in English because of my limited knowledge how to use English words. The language barrier is larger than most folks think, especially those folks for whom common English language is a native language and who can't experience and imagine how difficult communication in foreign language is. I mean real communication, not just simple asking about time, directions or so.
Dress Code: enlarge the picture :-).
LEFT BY NAT
On the second day of our VT-adventures we were left by Nat. Unfortunately we were so fascinating with Smithsonian museums of Washington DC that we didn't find enough time to buy Nat some clothes to change (Nat originally didn't plan to stay for a night with the rest of VT-gang and 24 hours with no clothes to change was enough for him although hmm... both I and Urszula didn't feel anything unpleasant around him). Well, even if we want to go shopping, Nat hates shopping... me generally, too.
We had great, great nightlife during our second VT-meeting evening but it belongs to my Washington DC, not Arlington page. We (Urszula, Kathy, Christi and I) met again Kristi (dabs) from Chicago, Illinois and for the first time Tania (skye820) from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Kent (Kentbein) from Fairfax, Virginia. Shortly here: it was a blast, I and Urszula are both proud to meet you both and can't wait to meet you again. Welcome to Poland.
MULTIRACIAL METRO CAR
We went back to our Sheraton National hotel first by short ride by yellow metro line to Pentagon station. I was watching quite numerous folks paying attention especially, as always, for non-whites. Excuse, I have no such opportunities in Poland and during my first days in the USA, both times, I used to look at Blacks, Asians, Latinos etc.
Dress Code: It's interesting that whenever I stared at casual US woman or a guy (say, on average US street), never mind his/her age or gender, and she/he noticed my sight, she/he immediately sent me a smile (100%!). Hmm... in some countries I visited (including partly my lovely Poland) it's not 100%, believe me. Sometimes you may hear "what do you want" or something more rude. Well, I heard about low class, dangerous districts in some US cities but I found US high crime districts exclusively in Hollywood movies (who make them???), never during my exactly 18,102 miles (29,132 km) driven by hired cars. Well, maybe once (at daytime :-) I drove through bad district of Los Angeles.
CHRIS AND TRANSFER
Our VT-king of good organisation, Chris, worried about our way from Pentagon to the hotel. He found small black box on the station with the writing TRANSFER. It was the vending machine which gave us (free) small tickets called transfers. Later on, when we showed them to a driver at a metrubus we paid only 35c fare. Since that time I knew what the tranfer was.
Both Kathy and Urszula were very amused in the metro car. They communicated quite well and laughed loud all the time. As for Urszula, no wonder, she still had a jet lag and it was her time, morning hours.
You may see all kinds of dresses in the metro including elegant costumes, suits and ties and... enlarge the picture.
While Urszula, Kathy and Nat were all sleeping in our room 425, Chris and I decided to continue the party.
We came back to the 16th floor. Urszula worried about our absence in the room and after some time she came to ask me to come back. But she accepted my and Chris's will to continue the talks :-). She came back to the room and we continued great and very interesting man's talks with no witnesses. I even didn't touch my camera that time.
I don't remember what time we finished but Chris managed to open the door lock at the first attempt. After a short sleep, the following morning we felt very relaxed and quite comfortable. Although... luckily I wasn't forced to drive a car.
Dress Code: Whatever you want to feel comfortable.
When we came back to our room 425 in Sheraton National hotel in the middle of the night we started to prepare for a short sleep.
The most imortant thing for amusing folks, never mind married or not, believe me, is always not to put the body in wrong place which may cause unpleasant inconveniences. Just in case of any gossipy questions... we all chose our places to sleep very correct. Nat had the most comfortable position on that matter as he had to sleep on the floor. Sorry, poor Nat. Although he kindly announced the following morning that he had the best sleep ever. Well, with his hard southern bones it maybe the truth.
Well, while our ladies and Nat prepared to sleep, the rest two of us decided to continue night party. Stay tuned.
Dress Code: Whatever you want to feel comfortable.
Well, we surely found out the way back to our room 425 in Sheraton National hotel with no problems. The elecronic card unlocked the door at the first attempt. You know, sometimes the locks in American hotels are more malicious.
I can say that our VT-meeting (first evening and night in Arlington) was a great success and I'm proud to know Nat, Chris, Kristi and again Kathy (she visited us in Poland a year before). Thank everybody- those who knew me before and those who didn't - for making me feel at home.
Dress Code: Whatever you want to feel comfortable.
Nat as always was ready to any help for the rest of our VT-gang.
When we left 16th floor of Sheraton national hotel in the middle of the night we surely had to find out our room 425 and do it without any annoying noice. Just awaken Nat wanted to help us a lot. When we finally found the room he racked his clever and sober but steel sleepy brain and started to touch the sign with our room number. Just to be sure that we found out the correct room. He didn't knew that it wasn't the end of our night adventures, at least for the two of us. Stay tuned.
Dress Code: Whatever you want to feel comfortable.